Outdoor Food Safety – Tailgate Season!
Friday August 30, 2019
Football season is finally here! The Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency wants to help you stay safe when feeding your friends and family before the big game.
Cooler weather is on its way and has us tackling tailgating festivities like grilling out of the back of our trucks and competing in a friendly game of corn-hole. Once your tent is set up, the hot dogs and burgers are on the grill and the music is playing – it can be easy to forget about food safety.
“Remember that it is important to stop the growth of bacteria by keeping your hot foods hot and your cold foods cold.” says Paul Andriacchi, Director of Environmental Health at the Community Health Agency. “Keep food covered to prevent the temperature of the air from cooling your hot foods or heating up your salads. It is best to keep your cool foods on ice or in a cooler to keep them chilled. Food must be put away within 2 hours of being out to avoid bacterial growth.” So when you leave your parking spot for the game, make sure everything is packed away if you plan on getting a snack at half-time.
The Centers of Disease Control (CDC) estimates that each year, one in six people will suffer from a case of foodborne illness, with 128,000 people being sick enough to be hospitalized, and 3,000 dying. Another easy way to prevent E-Coli and Salmonella (common bacteria that cause food poisoning) is to be cautious of cross contamination:
Be sure that you are keeping your raw meat away from your ready-to-eat foods. An easy way to do this is to pack separate coolers – one for your chicken and steaks, the other for your potato salad and veggies and dip.
Use two different spatulas and two different plates – one for the raw meat, one for the cooked meat.
More food safety information is available: